The holiday photo that made a Sunderland dad '˜die inside' and vow to lose 10 stone
A Sunderland dad has shed a whopping 10 stone after saying his holiday photos made something inside him die.
Chris Smart, of Grangetown, was on holiday with his wife Jennifer and children Joshua, 13, and Bethany, four, when he was left “horrified” by a family snap.
On the night before they travelled home, leaving his mum Lynne and dad Irwin, who were continuing their holiday for another week, the whole family posed for a picture together.
Chris, 32, said: “My mam wanted a group photo before we left the restaurant that night. For my meal I’d had a three-course special, lasagne to start followed by a 12-inch pizza then a dessert.
“My mam handed around her iPad showing everyone the photo. I had a look and for the first time in my life I realised how horrendous and horrible I looked – something inside of me just died. I was horrified.
“I knew I was a big lad but to see myself like that was a huge shock. I knew I had problems with my back, my knees, and I was seriously unfit but I just came to accept all of these things. But the photo kind of showed me the error of my ways.”
After his mum returned home, she told Chris about Slimming World and he decided to give it a go.
Just one year on he’s lost 10st 3lb, going from 25st 7.5lb to 14st 13lb.
Chris said: “I used my mam as inspiration because she’d already lost close to 6st with Slimming World.
“I had no idea what to expect when I walked in. I walked through the doors to a hive of activity, people interacting and talking, there was a nice feel to it.
“I on the other hand was absolutely terrified. I was shaking, nervous, worried in case people started talking saying, ‘look at the size of him’.
“As a man at that point I felt the lowest I ever had. I had let myself down, my self esteem was at an all-time low and my masculinity was taken from me like pulling a rug from under your feet.”
Chris, who works as mechanical engineer, says he used to have to buy his clothes at big and tall shops, and got emotional the first time he tried on a pair of 38” waist jeans in a “normal shop”.
He said: “I went to the men’s jeans and picked up a 38” waist pair. I tried them on and they were perfect. I became emotional, I was elated, I couldn’t believe that I was buying a regular size in a normal shop at a reduced cost to what I normally had to pay for clothes.”
He added: “I have lost 10st and 3lbs in that short space of time. It is an achievement but I don’t seek praise or thanks because I decided to do it for me.
“I want to walk my daughter down the aisle and watch my son grow up. I was on a one-way path to destruction, a ticking time bomb and the only question wasn’t if, it was when.”
Consultant Paula Whiting runs groups at Thornhill School, in Thornholme Road, on Saturdays at 8am, 10am and noon, as well as at Ryhope Community Centre, in Black Road, at 9am and 11am on Tuesdays and 5pm and 7pm on Thursdays.
Breakfast - full English
Lunch - two or three sandwiches
Dinner - takeaways or something quick in oven
Breakfast - Slimming World-style full English
Lunch - salad or something pre-cooked to warm up
Dinner - Slimming World meals from recipe books, meat and vegetables